Take our Private Immersive Tour to Discover HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa

Just a fifteen-minute boat ride from the Ishigaki ferry terminal will carry you to Taketomi Island. The hotel’s shuttle will greet you from the moment you step off the ship. The main road quickly gives way to a narrow, mysterious path that may disorient you, but be patient. Your destination will soon become clear…

Japanese luxury Taketomijima Ryokan

After a few hundred metres, the shuttle takes a right turn onto the path leading to HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island. At first you will not see much more than two rooftops covered in thick red tile. After checking in at the hotel lobby, you will follow your guide to your villa, surrounded by your very own paradise on earth, a place where time stands still.

Veranda design in Japanese style on Taketomijima

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You will first be impressed by the tranquillity and authenticity of this village of 48 villas that are built just like the typical houses on the island, conferring HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island its charm. Taketomi Island in Okinawa Prefecture is an unspoilt place, preserved by building no new homes in the past fifty years. Only existing houses remain and are preserved in the local tradition: built of wood with large bay windows and the thick red roof tiles that are so characteristic of the island.

Luxury Japanese bathroom

While the villas are identical, you will have a choice between two styles of interior design. The first is traditional, in the style of ryokans, with their tatami-covered floors and futon beds, whereas the second is more Western with a shower, bathtub, modern beds, and tatamis only in the bedrooms. Regardless of your choice, each villa is decorated with the sophistication and clean lines characteristic of Japanese style, with dark wood furniture and couches inviting you to total relaxation.

Wander the small winding alleys of this charming village, breathe in the pure air and absorb its unique atmosphere. Take a look around, lift your eyes and you will meet Shisa. This ubiquitous figure will catch your eye immediately. The miniature lion’s menacing demeanour is not intended to scare you, but to protect you by warding off evil spirits.

Swimming pool on Taketomi Island

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The viewing point on the heights of the Resort is the perfect place for summer traditional fireworks contemplation. You will be surrounded by the village on one side and the ocean on the other. You can swim laps or splash around with your children in the huge swimming pool that is almost as large as an Olympic pool, or simply lie down and relax in one of its shallow ends as the water caresses your skin. You will also appreciate the privacy afforded by the pretty blooming bushes surrounding the pool.

French cuisine in Japan

You can relax in the lounge next to the swimming pool, which offers hot drinks, refreshments and all kinds of snacks around the clock. This living space also offers a variety of workshops and entertainment. The Resort takes pride in supporting local craftsmanship.

Sanshin Japanese instrument

Guests can try their hand at artisanal crafts such as wickerwork, or enjoy a daily music and song show during which a local musician will introduce you to the traditional instrument from Okinawa, the sanshin, which resembles a 3-string banjo.

French gastronomy by Tatsurou Nakasu

HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island offers a wide variety of activities to make your stay a rich and fulfilling one. At the end of the day, you can watch the sunset on the eastern coast of the island, which magically transforms the beach into an otherworldly landscape. Afterwards, savour your dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

The chef, Tatsuo Nakasu is prodigious, creating dishes à la française from local products. His bamboo shoots dish with abalones and garlic butter is an homage to Burgundy cuisine. Each of his dishes, from appetizers to dessert artfully combines finesse and balance. Complete your meal with one of the wines on the menu. The kind attentions of the service staff will make your stay an exceptional experience.

Onsen, the Japanese way of life

Onsens go back to the dawn of time, and in Japan are synonymous with both relaxation and friendliness. A place where you can totally relax for a period of time.

onsen-japan

Onsen refers to the hot baths that Japan has lots of, since the archipelago is a volcanic land teeming with a lot of hot springs, which feed these places frequented by people of all ages from all walks of life.

Everyone : both men and women, children as well as  adults, goes to the Onsen for the well-being that these hot baths provide for the mind and body.

ourdoor-bath

Whether indoors or outdoors, onsens all work on the same principle : a mineralized volcanic spring feeding one or several baths at a temperature between 41 and 42°.

These hot springs, rich in sulphur, sodium chloride, hydrogen carbonate, and iron, are considered therapeutic and many Japanese people go there to treat ailments and chill out in the soothing atmosphere.

Fun alternative to sauna in Japan

However above all, the onsen represents a pleasant interlude from an often hectic and pressurised daily life. Time spent in the hot bath is a real break, deep relaxation coupled with the sense that you are zoned out, nothing exists around you and that you have left your cares and troubles far behind.

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The use of onsens is very ritualised for the Japanese, and it is important for us Europeans to discover these rules before visiting them for the first time.

Onsen in Japan - Hoshino Resorts Kai

The key to solving the mystery begins on entering the onsen; firstly you must remove your shoes and put them in the compartment provided before heading to the changing rooms.

Here, more becomes apparent : for you must undress fully – nudity is compulsory – and leaving your things in the compartment take the small towel with you. The next step is the shower area near the baths, so as to be completely clean before finally entering the water. This should be done cautiously, since the temperature exceeds 40°; hence care must be taken to avoid thermal shock.

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Once in the water, relax and do not think about anything except the benefits provided by the heat, while ensuring that you hydrate yourself regularly. Very often, you can also enjoy the sauna integrated with the onsen.

The last recommendation during your first visit, is do not stay in the water or the sauna too long, unless you cool off regularly with a shower. And do not rinse before leaving, so as to enjoy the water’s benefits for longer.

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At the end of your visit, you will understand why the Japanese like onsens so much and why it is an integral part of their lifestyle. Not only is time spent pleasantly, but the benefits are felt for a long time afterwards.

It is above all this relaxation and intense feeling of well-being which will encourage you to frequent these famous thermal baths again.

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And while these baths are often public, you can enjoy exceptional baths in the surroundings of a luxury hotel.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami has an outstanding onsen with a sea view. So, you can relax in your bath and admire the sunset on the horizon at the same time. Doesn’t that sound like a dream holiday taking shape?